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5 Steps to Mental Health and Wellbeing: developing a whole-school approach


The Anna Freud Centre’s new framework, ‘5 Steps to Mental Health and Wellbeing’, is to help schools and colleges develop a school or college-wide approach to mental health and well-being.

Written by teachers and school leaders with guidance from mental health experts, 5 Steps is a simple, free, interactive framework to help schools and colleges create their approach to mental health and well-being – allowing them to work at their pace and shape it according to their setting and priorities.

Children and young people’s mental health is everyone’s responsibility. 5 Steps engages the whole school community, including school staff, parents and carers, and pupils. By working together, we can make sure that children and young people get the help they need when they need it.

Supporting good mental health is vital in helping children and young people to thrive. Schools and colleges that take this approach to improve pupil well-being, attendance and attainment give their pupils the best possible chance to fulfil their potential.

The five steps include: leading change, working together, understanding need, promoting well-being and supporting staff. Each of the five steps has practical actions that education professionals can take and is supported by evidence-based practice, free or low-cost resources, and case studies from schools and colleges. Schools and colleges can also create their bespoke 5 Steps to Mental Health and Wellbeing action planning tool.

For more information and to access the platform, visit

First published 30 September 2020